Don't be suckered in by the lovely cover like I was, my friends. The writing is juvenile and the characters maddening. Very little, other than the covDon't be suckered in by the lovely cover like I was, my friends. The writing is juvenile and the characters maddening. Very little, other than the cover, was worth the read. I'm also very unimpressed by the behavior and harassment of the author and her agent toward other GoodReads reviewers. (See Wendy Darling's review.) I have no interest in supporting this author.
Oh, and if you're just looking for pure entertainment, read Victoria's review of this book. I promise you that (unlike The Selection), it will be worth the read!...more
Oh Jim, you never fail to make me laugh. I don't if this has anything to do with my own food obsessions, but I think I liked this second book by GaffiOh Jim, you never fail to make me laugh. I don't if this has anything to do with my own food obsessions, but I think I liked this second book by Gaffigan even more than the first (although, I think most claim his first book to be the better read). And I can assure you that my husband really enjoyed my reading of this book as well, since I continually read out loud to him excerpts I found particularly humorous. He'd laugh politely, and then attempt to get back to whatever he was currently doing -- sleeping, showering, reading his own book, etc. I can tell it was just as satisfying for him as it was for me....more
Fairly fast-paced and interesting story. The writing itself wasn't phenomenal, and there were many times while I was reading that I had to overlook plFairly fast-paced and interesting story. The writing itself wasn't phenomenal, and there were many times while I was reading that I had to overlook plot holes or contradictions, or just things that didn't quite make sense, but I liked it enough to want to finish the series. ...more
I was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was aI was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was a little disappointing. The main character was kind of annoying. I really liked the setting -- Embassy Row in the fictional country of Adria. And even the other characters were interesting and mostly entertaining. But Grace herself was such a drag, and I couldn't figure out why the other characters not only liked her, but were utterly devoted to her and her nonsense, some of them after knowing her for only days.
I probably would have only rated the book 2 stars, but the ending really did redeem it quite a bit. And I'm telling you, I was ready to be pretty frustrated. It cleared some things up about the mystery (AND made it much more interesting since it felt like there really wasn't a mystery for most of the book), although it was rather sloppily done.
So while I wasn't feeling the magic like in Carter's other books, after reading the book's ending, I liked it well enough to want to read more from the series. I have a feeling things will get much better from here. ...more
Great writing, amazing world-building, and interesting characters. Like the first book, however, I did feel that it could have been cut back quite a bGreat writing, amazing world-building, and interesting characters. Like the first book, however, I did feel that it could have been cut back quite a bit without losing much. Sanderson's definitely talented, though, so I look forward to finishing the series. ...more
This was a really lovely debut novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. The setting is 1986 New York City when the AIDs epidemic was really getting bad, and the maThis was a really lovely debut novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. The setting is 1986 New York City when the AIDs epidemic was really getting bad, and the main character, 14-year-old June, must deal with the fact that her beloved uncle is very sick with the virus. The writing itself was so well-done, and the understanding that the characters come to about themselves, the world, and each other were all developed remarkably. I especially loved the relationships between the characters and how they came to understand how much they needed each other -- that life really wasn't meaningful or fulfilling without those relationships.
The setting also worked very well. I like when an author can place a story in a time period (particularly one that's not so far away) without cramming it down your throat that is really IS the 80s! When an author just wants to prove it -- Hey, look at all the things I remember from the 80s! In Brunt's case, it all worked organically in the story, and there was no awkward placement of 80s-specific items, music, etc. It reminded me a bit of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in its skillful use of the 1980s as a setting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Everything was just so well-written and beautifully told. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry several times . . . but that may be more a reflection on me than the book. I love a book that makes me cry!
Oh, Ms. Snyder, you draw me in again, you sly minx! So happy to see a return of the characters from Poison Study. Wait! I just realized that this bookOh, Ms. Snyder, you draw me in again, you sly minx! So happy to see a return of the characters from Poison Study. Wait! I just realized that this book only came out in February! Crap, now I'm wishing I had waited to read this until at least the second one was out....more
Gah! I don't know what to do with myself right now because I just realized that I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books! Interestingly, this debut novGah! I don't know what to do with myself right now because I just realized that I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books! Interestingly, this debut novel of Ms. Rowell's was probably my favorite. Often, first novels tend to be my least favorite, but not so with Attachments. Rowell always has a very interesting plotline and distinctive alternating chapter format, but really, I think it's just that her writing style connects with me. It's funny and charming and clever, but also sweet and heartwrenching at times. I can't believe how much I feel for these characters she's creates. And the dialogue . . . good grief, the dialogue! This woman has a way with words! And nothing trite or over-done here. It's all so beautifully unique.
Like this little exchange, for example:
"I didn't plan it," she said. "I hoped that we would both just know when it was time . . . That we'd have one of those moments. Like in the movies, foreign movies, when something small happens, something almost imperceptible, and it changes everything. Like there's a man and a woman having breakfast . . . and the man reaches for the jam, and the woman says, 'I thought you didn't like jam,' and the man says, 'I didn't. Once.'
"Or maybe it isn't even that obvious. Maybe he reaches for the jam, and she just looks at him like she doesn't know him anymore. Like, in the moment he reached for that jar, she couldn't recognize him.
"After breakfast, he'll go for a walk, and she'll go to their room and pack a slim brown suitcase. She'll stop on the sidewalk and wonder whether she should say good-bye, whether she should leave a note. But she won't. She'll just get into the taxi and go. . . .
"Who's playing me in your movie?" he asked gently.
"Daniel Day-Lewis," she said. She smiled. Lincoln could probably kiss her now if he wanted. Instead he leaned toward her ear so that she could hear him whisper.
"There's never been a moment," he barely said, "when I didn't recognize you."
I mean, honestly. This particular moment in the novel is almost unbearably lovely. So here's hoping to many, many more books from Rowell in the future. And in the not-so-distant future, at that....more
Well, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of bWell, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of books on my nightstand, just waiting to be read.
As I'm tired and just don't have a lot of time to review this, let me just give you a quick (and most likely unintelligible) run-down on how this book went for me:
Love the beginning. Love the quirky characters. Heart is breaking a bit for Eleanor and her situation (creepy, deadbeat/abusive step-dad and doormat mom--thus Eleanor and the rest of the kids are basically starving all the time because there is no money for food, or anything else, for that matter). Love the character development and the relationship development between Eleanor and Park. Love the middle. Hold on. What's happening here at the end? I do not like where this is heading, but I will trust Ms. Rowell to get us where we need to be. Um, Eleanor, what the freak is wrong with you? Get your act together! Hating, hating the end. Seriously, this ending sucks. Oh, wait. Last paragraph redeems the ending. Beautiful.
I didn't know what to expect with this book, not having read very many graphic novels in my day, but I've been interested in reading it since I heardI didn't know what to expect with this book, not having read very many graphic novels in my day, but I've been interested in reading it since I heard the author speak at a conference recently. It was definitely a very different format--and not because of the graphic novel design. It was basically three different stories told alternately, that all came together in the end. I loved the way each story (and each character) helped explain and develop the others. When it was all revealed at the end, though, I did wish there was a little bit more explanation about the Chin-kee character and his role in Jin's life. Otherwise, it was a great book, and I would definitely recommend it to any of my students....more
Oh my goodness, I loved this book! Ever since I first discovered Allie Brosh's blog post about the "A Lot" monster (as an English teacher, this spokeOh my goodness, I loved this book! Ever since I first discovered Allie Brosh's blog post about the "A Lot" monster (as an English teacher, this spoke to me on a personal level), I've been a big fan of hers. And let me tell you people, this book did not disappoint. I was laughing and snickering through the whole thing, just wanting desperately to share bits and pieces of it with different friends as I read, but frustratingly, being unable to since, you know, it was a book, not a Tumblr post. ...more
I kind of loved this book. It was one of those books that you really have no idea what it's about when you start it, but you picked it up because youI kind of loved this book. It was one of those books that you really have no idea what it's about when you start it, but you picked it up because you thought someone had mentioned that it was good, and hey, you were looking for something new to read anyway. And then you start reading it and find that you cannot put it down. And you get a little annoyed when someone or something interrupts you and you have to put it down. And when you get to the end, it was just so good and so satisfying that you just kind of sit there for a few minutes digesting it and feeling it and, well, just wishing you were still reading it. That's what this book was for me.
This is the first book I've read by Rainbow Rowell, and let me tell you, this woman is talented! This book was creative, incredibly well-written, and surprising all at once. The character development was probably my favorite part--they were so interesting and different and real. I became so invested in everything that happened to them. I wanted to know them myself, in person.
I can't wait to read more of Rowell's books. Okay, I'll admit it--I'm actually reading Eleanor & Park right now. And yes, I'm loving it. ...more
I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-written, carefully constructed, original take an interesting plot idea. But these last two books I've read have just fallen completely short of any of the expectations I've had.
I will refer you to the review of Emily May as I strongly agree with her assessment of this book and why it failed where Before I Fall succeeded. ...more
Finding yourself completely addicted to a series of books and feeling smug that all five books are already out so you don't have a long and/or agoniziFinding yourself completely addicted to a series of books and feeling smug that all five books are already out so you don't have a long and/or agonizing wait for the next book in the series does little good when your library for some unknown (but certainly ridiculous) reason does not carry book #4 of a 5-book series!! I mean, sure, it has book 5. Is there really a need for book 4 as well, perhaps the librarians asked themselves.
It's Christmas break, a time when I actually have some spare time to read before school starts again, and so I whipped through this book in the Fever series in a day, anticipating that I could immediately start reading book 4. And believe me, when you finish this book, you really need the next book right away. This one has the cruelest ending, leaving you uncomfortably hanging, wondering what in the world is going on.
And while I did really enjoy learning so much more of the mythology of the Fae (both good and evil), there are still so many problems and mysteries left unsolved. And not as much seems to happen in this installment until right at the end. So I'm eagerly looking forward to downloading the next book from my online library . . . only third in line. Sigh. ...more
Yep, still really enjoying this series. The more back-story and world-building I get, the more intrigued and invested in this story I find myself. AndYep, still really enjoying this series. The more back-story and world-building I get, the more intrigued and invested in this story I find myself. And I love the setting of contemporary Dublin. I actually think I like the characters and story more in this second book than I did the first. The development of both has been very good....more
Much to my disappointment, this was just an okay read. While Amy Poehler is undoubtedly a comic genius (at least, in my opinion), she is just not a geMuch to my disappointment, this was just an okay read. While Amy Poehler is undoubtedly a comic genius (at least, in my opinion), she is just not a genius at writing about herself or making it very funny. Maybe so much of what makes her funny is her acting and her delivery, and you just can't get that from a book.
While there were a lot of interesting chapters and details about her life and how she worked her way to success, the organization of the book itself left a lot to be desired. It had a very stream-of-conscientiousness feel, or maybe it was just a, "I'll write whatever pops in my head at the moment, damn it, and I refuse to follow a chronological order that would make sense to my readers" sort of mentality? Who knows. Either way, it got confusing trying to follow what happened and when. And Poehler often waxed a little too philosophical for me.
This doesn't in any way take away from my extreme admiration and respect for this very funny and entertaining woman, but I'm probably going to say, "No, Thank You" to any more memoirs, should she choose to write them. ...more
Oh goodness, I have been putting off this review for so long because I just don't think I have the words to express how I felt about this book. But aOh goodness, I have been putting off this review for so long because I just don't think I have the words to express how I felt about this book. But a basic summary of my emotions while reading it would go something like this:
Interested Really Enjoying Love Love Losing Interest Bored Frustrated When, for the love of all that is holy, will this book ever end?! Wait a minute . . . Interested Again Intense and painful/beautiful anguish Wait . . . what? It's over??
I was telling a friend about reading this and the emotional trauma I felt in having experienced such a beautiful, amazing ending in those last 100 pages (I was literally sobbing), and then it was just over. The rest of the world was just going on like nothing had even happened, and I was a bit of an emotional wreck. I couldn't even really explain why to anyone!
I think my friend Greg summed up best how I felt at the end: "I remember, after feeling exhausted by what seemed like the vanity and futility of so much of their lives, just being swept away by the brilliance of the portrayal of Levin's journey and realizations." ...more
I teach this play to my AP Literature students. It's a fantastic book, painting a realistic picture of life in southside Chicago for an African AmericI teach this play to my AP Literature students. It's a fantastic book, painting a realistic picture of life in southside Chicago for an African American family during the late 1950s. ...more
This was a pretty solid series from start to finish. That's kind of rare with a dystopian trilogy. They usually start strong and exciting, and you jusThis was a pretty solid series from start to finish. That's kind of rare with a dystopian trilogy. They usually start strong and exciting, and you just can't wait for that next book. Until, of course, you read the next book. Then you usually feel let-down and disillusioned with the world in general. Things tend to pick up with book 3, but still, it just can never recreate the magic of the first book.
Not so with the Under the Never Sky series. I thoroughly enjoyed each book, I liked the character and plot development in each installment, and I felt the ending of the series was both fitting and satisfying. Rossi definitely has a lot of talent, and I look forward to reading more of her books. ...more
A modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby that I just won from First Reads! It's been fun to see classic characters and symbols in this contemporary stoA modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby that I just won from First Reads! It's been fun to see classic characters and symbols in this contemporary story. I'm only about halfway through, so we'll see how it all pulls together.
Well, I finished the book pretty quickly, which I consider a good sign since I was drawn into the story and invested in its ending. Although, to be honest, a lot of my interest was in seeing how this re-telling paralleled the original. And while the plot and characters leaned toward the melodramatic, I'm not sure how to retell The Great Gatsby without some melodrama. The fact that the characters are spoiled, rich teenagers probably also lends itself to that tendency.
Overall, the characters were interesting and the modern adaptations were fairly clever. And I don't think I'm revealing anything here by saying that the ending (view spoiler)[is pretty much dead-on with the original, with just a twist at the very end. And I think this is what I liked best about the book. Because perhaps the most bothersome thing about The Great Gatsby is how Daisy literally gets away with murder and faces absolutely no repercussions (at least external ones). In Great, however, there is a revenge on the part of Jacinta's (i.e. Gatsby's) character that I thought very fitting and satisfying. (hide spoiler)].
For more conservative readers, the fact that "Gatsby's" character is a girl, may be a little disturbing, but I thought it actually worked really well. Probably better than a teenage boy, to be honest, because I can't see a teenage boy today (even a rich one) throwing lavish parties and going to such extremes to get the attention of a girl. And there wasn't any sort of dwelling on a lesbian relationship, so it just didn't bother me.
But speaking of lesbians, the one character who I just really couldn't stand was Naomi's so-called best friend, "Skags". She was an absolute nightmare, and every time she entered a scene, it was like nails on a chalkboard. SO condescending and irritating. I think I would just edit her right out of the book.
Now was this book the modern equivalent of The Great Gatsby? Of course not. But surely no one is expecting the quality of that classic. It is, however, an interesting and compelling read, particularly for those who are familiar with the original.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more